American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Application of Meal Feeding and Skip-A-Day Feeding With or Without Probiotics for Broiler Chickens Grown at High-Altitude to Prevent Ascites Mortality

Ali Saffar and Fariborz Khajali

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2010.13.19

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 13-19


Problem statement: Ascites is a common rapid-growth-related problem in broiler chickens grown at high altitude where the partial pressure of oxygen is low and is marginally adequate to support the growth performance and ascites-related variables. A mismatch between the growth of oxygen supplying organs and the oxygen demanding organs causes ascites in broiler chickens. In the present study, broilers were subjected to two types of feed restriction with or without probiotics and changes in the growth rate of body organs were attributed to the incidence of ascites. Approach: Four hundred male day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned in a completely randomized design to five treatments: (1) a control group fed ad libitum throughout the experiment (2) a group subjected to meal feeding during 5-11 days of age with feeding times from 08-12 h and 13-17 h, (3) a group similar to treatment 2 except to received probiotics, (4) a skip-a-day feeding with 24 h fasting on days 9 and 11 and (5) a group similar to treatment 4 except to received probiotics. Probiotics was only used during the feed restriction at 1 g L-1 in the drinking water. Broilers reared on litter flooring from 1-49 days of age. Results: Both feed restriction programs used under conditions of the experiment resulted in poorer performance relative to the full-fed control but retarded growth caught up at the end of experiment. Carcass and breast yield were significantly (p‎<0.05) reduced right after feed restriction but not later on. Heart and liver percentages showed a reverse growth pattern after termination of feed restriction. Feed restriction had no consistent effect on abdominal fat deposition. Broilers subjected to the feed restriction had significantly (p<0.05) lower proportion of right ventricle to total ventricles. Probiotics had no beneficial impact on the compensatory growth though they tended to reduce the mortality from ascites. Conclusion: Early feed restriction did not influence the proportional growth of body organs and had no significant impact on ascites incidence. Probiotics had a positive effect in prevention of ascites.


© 2010 Ali Saffar and Fariborz Khajali. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.